Prolong The Life of Fresh Vegetables

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I saw something about this on the TV and of course I had to experiment.
First, I tried with Romaine Lettuce and prolonged the usability and crunchiness to a little over a week.

My second try was with carrots. I was fed-up with carrots going limp and buying just 2-3 carrots was too expensive – bearing in mind the cost of driving to a shop every 2nd day and missing out on multi buy that ‘s cheaper. This time I managed to extend the usability to nearly 2 weeks, then I ran out of carrots.

While starting experiment one and two I also started the third one, this time using tomatoes. Because tomatoes are sold in punnets and if you like me only eat one or two every 2nd day, they go limp and over ripens before one has a chance to even eat half the punnet. I managed to keep eatable tomatoes for four weeks (see picture. Yes, they are 4 weeks after purchase old).

What’s the secret, you may ask.
Simple, you must, when you get home from shopping instead of loading your fridge with your purchase repack everything as follows:

  • Remove the plastic bags and wrappings.
  • Check that everything is usable,
    don’t bin unusable vegetables because some of it is still usable.
  • Dampen (soak it in water, and wring it as much as you can) a tea towel and use this to wrap the vegetables – each kind in a separate towel.
  • Store/keep either in the Veg box or on the lower shelf.

I have also used this method on Oranges and Lemons, it works great, but here instead of the tea towel I used damped kitchen towel. PS. You must keep an eye on these.

And that’s the whole secret.

Massaman Chicken Curry (Very Easy)

Serves: 4                Prep Time: 10 minutes                                    Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Masaman Chicken Curry (Very Easy)

This Massaman recipe came from the writing on the Massaman paste tub but I did make some subtle changes. For instance: I didn’t have the tamarind paste and I couldn’t be bothered squeezing a lemon, but it still tasted as good as when I have it at my local Chinese restaurant.

  • 50g Massaman curry paste (for a milder curry use 25g)
  • 1 tbsp Vegetable/Canola Oil
  • 400ml can coconut milk
  • 200g meat/chicken diced
  • 150g cubed potatoes
  • 50g chopped onions
  • 15g peanuts chopped & roasted
  • Maybe a little extra water to cook the potatoes
  • 3 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp tamarind extract
  • Taste and season as required
  • 150g white rice
  1. Stir-fry the Massaman paste with the oil and 2 tbsp water; keep stirring until the paste is dissolved.
  2. Then add 240ml coconut milk and bring to boil, simmer for 1 minute.
  3. Then add the diced chicken and the rest of the coconut milk, and bring back to boil.
  4. Add the potatoes, onions and peanuts and cook until potatoes are softened (ca. 20 mins)
  5. Stir in the sugar and tamarind*, cook for 1 minutes, then taste and season as required.
  6. I also added a handful of chopped Chinese Leaf just before point 4.
  7. Served with cooked white rice

Masaman Chicken Curry (Very Easy) (2)

Hasselback Potatoes – Air Fried

Serves: 3 – – – – – – – – Prep Time: 10 minutes – – – – – – – – Baking Time: 2x 15 minutes

Hasselback is a cooking method in which potatoes or other items are sliced not-quite-all-the-way through in thin, even layers, which can be stuffed or topped with additional flavourings. It’s a way of creating more surface area for flavours and creating additional texture. As a technique, it’s nothing new.
They look good and makes a nice accompaniment or a lovely starter.
You don’t have to use 3 different potatoes, you can just use one type.
Hasselback-Potatoes

  • 1x (150-200g) White Potato
  • 1x (150-200g) Red Potato
  • 1x (150-200g) Sweet Potato
  • 3 tbsp melted Butter
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 3 cloves Garlic, crushed
  • ½ tsp ground Paprika
  • Salt and ground Black Pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp chopped Fresh Parsley
  1. Preheat Air Fryer to 180°C and set timer to 30 minutes.
  2. Slice each potato evenly across entire length making roughly ¾cm to ½cm slices, but make sure the knife only cuts through to the bottom ½cm, keeping the bottom of the potato intact. (Trick: use 2 chopsticks, one either side of the potato, to cut down on, thus making sure to cut evenly low).
  3. Combine butter, olive oil, garlic, and paprika in a small bowl. Brush some of the mixture over each potato and into the slits. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Place potatoes in the air fryer basket and bake for 15 minutes open the Fryer (when prompted to turn), brush potatoes again with butter mixture, making sure to get it down into the fanned out slices. Continue baking until potatoes are cooked, another 15 minutes.
  5. Remove potatoes from the basket and brush with any remaining butter mixture. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve immediately.

PER SERVING: 317 Kcals

Total Fat 16.6g (Saturated 8g) Cholesterol 31mg
Sodium 165mg Total Carbohydrate 39.7g (Sugars 6g)
(Fibre 5g) Protein 4.4g Potassium 1007mg

Cheerful heart-warming Winter Salad

Serves: 2 Prep         Time: 5 minutes         Cooking Time: 0 minutes

Salad w Orange, Plum (3)

I love this salad it gives me a happy feeling both to look at and to eat. It is just delicious.

  • 90g Romaine salad, washed and chopped
  • 70g Orange or 2 small easy peelers, peeled and chopped
  • 50g Plums, washed, destoned and chopped
  • ½ tbsp Cherry Vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 pinch Salt and Pepper

Salad w Orange, Plum (4)

  1. Wash and dry the salad and plum. Peal the orange.
  2. Cut each onto roughly 1cm pieces and place in a salad bowl.
  3. Sprinkle with oil and vinegar.
  4. Add a pinch of salt and pepper, as required.
  5. Toss, serve and enjoy.

PER SERVING: 92 Kcals

Total Fat 7.1g (Saturated 1g) Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 12mg Total Carbohydrate 7.6g (Sugars 5g)
(Fibre 1.1g) Protein 1g Potassium 170mg
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Two green smoothies

Prep time 2 minutes Blending time 3 minutes
Serves 3 (1st) Only 40 kcal/portion
Serves 3 (2st) Only 20 kcal/portion

When I was in Demark last month, my nephew introduced me to this morning drink.
The two smoothies I tried weren’t that brilliant; but because I needed to lose some weight, after my trip to Denmark, I decided to try my hand in making smoothies.

  • 1st Green Smoothie
  • 250 ml cold green tea
  • ½ lemon, peeled, de-stoned and quartered
  • 4 slices of ginger
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 2 frozen spinach balls
  • 1 large frozen broccoli floret
  • 5 spring onions, cleaned
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 handful frozen peas
  • 1 handful frozen mango/pineapple
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp of salt, pepper and soy sauce
  • 2nd Green Smoothie
  • 250 ml cold green tea
  • ½ lemon, either juice of or roughly peeled and quartered
  • 4-6 slices of fresh ginger
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 2 frozen spinach balls
  • 1 large frozen broccoli floret
  • 1 handful frozen chopped onions
  • 1 cooked Pak Choi, cut into smaller pieces
  • 50 g steamed fresh beans, cut into 1in lengths
  • 2 large radishes, tailed & topped, and quartered
  • 1 handful basil leaves & stems
  • ½ tsp of salt, pepper, soy sauce and sweet chilli sauce.
  1. Place all ingredients in the blender.
  2. Blend for 2-3 minutes until smooth and no more ice lumps
  3. Taste, and maybe add some more flavours.
  4. Split evenly between 3 shaker beakers, keep in fridge for max 2 days.
    Shake well before usage.
  5. Serve and enjoy you drink.

Enjoy!

 

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Beetroot Salad

    • 4-6 cooked beetroots, roughly grated
    • 1 onion finely chopped
    • ½ clove of Garlic – crushed (optional)
    • French salad dressing:
      • 3 tbsp Oil (sunflower/olive/ whatever you like)
      • 1 tbsp wine vinegar
      • ½ tsp continental mustard
      • salt & pepper
      • if too strong add a little water.
    1. Mix the dressing, add the onions and leave in soak for a little while.
    2. Finally mix in the grated beetroot.
    3. Place in fridge until serving.

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Carrot Salad

  • 1 Lemon, squeezed
  • The same amount as the juice of boiling water
  • 1-2 tsp runny honey
  • Raisins * – as many as can be covered by the liquid
  • Chopped Nuts *
  • 5-6 medium sized grated carrots
  • * Can be omitted!
  1. Mix the boiling water and honey until all the honey has dissolved
  2. Add the lemon juice and the raisins.
  3. Leave to infuse for ½ hour.
  4. Then add and mix in the grated carrots.
  5. Cover with a plate, small enough the cover the carrots and must fit inside the bowl
  6. Put a heavy item (a jar, a litter bottle of water …) on top of the plate to press the salad.
  7. Leave under press for ½ -1 hour at room temperature.
  8. Remove the heavy item and place the salad-bowl in fridge.
  9. This can keep for 2-3 days.

Easy Rösti with Tuna Steak and steamed Broccoli

Prep time 2 minutes Cooking time 15 minutes
Serves 1 Calories 420 in total

I have a Chinese supermarket nearby and I like their frozen tuna steaks (just under £10 for 5 individually sealed steaks). The rösti couldn’t be much easier to make than this, all it requires is a grater or a food processor that can do the coarse grating for you. Why steamed broccoli? Because of the latest findings in vegetable cooking this is the healthiest way of cooking vegetables. The vitamins stay where they are (doesn’t get cooked away into the water) and the flavour and colour are also so much nicer. The salting of steamed vegetables is a little tricky, I use one of two ways to do this. The first: while cleaning the veg add salt to the last rinse and leave vegs in soak for a couple of minutes. The second: in the steamer add double salt to the water below the veg and the steam will then become salty.
Rösti & Broccoli

  • 1 Tuna Steak
  • 200g grated potatoes (one large potato)
  • Onion and garlic salt
  • 4-6 broccoli flowers
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1-2 tbsp Rapeseed oil
  • 10g butter
  1. Coarsely grate a washed potato (no need for peeling), place the grated potato in one bowl of boiling hot water, leave to rest for a minute or so, then drain it, but leave it in the strainer.
  2. Wash the broccoli flowers and place in a steamer. Dissolve the salt in the steamer water (button bowl), place the steamer in a microwave and cook on full heat for max 3 minutes.
  3. In the meantime – I like using a wok, because I can control the heat and I don’t need too much frying oil – heat a wok/frying-pan – when hot add 1 tbsp oil and 10g butter, when this has amalgamated – add the grated potato. Flatten into a pancake, and sprinkle with salt, pepper, onion salt and or garlic salt. Fry for 5 minutes each side. Leave lid on.
  4. While the rösti is frying – heat a griddle pan (or just a frying pan) – dry the tuna steak on some kitchen towel – when the pan is smoking hot place the tuna stake on it. Seal both sides before seasoning (salt, pepper and maybe some garlic salt) and if using a frying pan – add a little oil – lower the heat. Fry for max 2 minutes each side.
  5. Remove the lid from the rösti and turn heat up to make the sides crispy, max one minute each side.

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Chicken Lasagna without pasta

Prep time max 10 minutes Cooking time 20-25 minutes
Serves 2-3 Calories 755 in total

  • 150g cooked skinless chicken, cut or torn into bite size pieces
  • 100g grated cheese, lactose free
  • 1-2 courgette thinly sliced slightly on an angle to be used instead of lasagna
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 tin of peeled tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Salt and black pepper.
  • A prise of mixed herbs, thyme.
  • Sweet Spanish paprika Grated nutmeg
  1. Preheat oven to 200° C.
  2. In the meantime, use a food processor to chop the onions, garlic and tomatoes.
  3. Spread the chicken pieces in a large lasagna dish.
  4. Spread the tomato mix over the chicken pieces.
  5. Cover the dish with a layer of sliced courgettes.
  6. Finish with a layer of grated cheese
  7. Dust with paprika and a touch of nutmeg
  8. Place in oven and cook for 20 to 25 minutes at 200°C.